Chef Aarón Sánchez Talks Mentorship at Exclusive ICC Demo

In January, the ICC New York campus facilities received a visit from the esteemed Chef Aarón Sánchez. During his visit, Chef Aarón demonstrated some techniques behind creating authentic Mexican cuisine with the help of current ICC Professional Culinary Arts student, Oswaldo Rios.

Oswaldo was selected from a pool of more than 40 applicants to become the first-ever recipient of the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund for aspiring chefs from the New Orleans Latino community. The program pays to send the recipient to ICC and provides other career development support back in New Orleans. Oswaldo, who will be graduating the International Culinary Center’s program in 2018, has expressed a keen sense of work ethic, ambition and understanding of mentoring.

Following the inspiring demonstration, we caught up with Chef Sánchez to discuss the importance of having a mentor during your culinary studies and how having guidance from another chef can help to shape your culinary career.

ICC: Why do you think that mentorship is so important for young, aspiring chefs? 

I think it’s important to have structure and a constant source of inspiration which you can get from a good mentor. When you see that your goals are tangible if you have a great work ethic, passion and resilience, it can keep you going through the tough times. A mentor can also serve as a reminder to honor your legacy or heritage and to carry on family and cultural traditions.”

ICC: Who would you consider to be your mentor? Why?  

My mentors were my Mom and Abuela of course, as well as Chef Paul Prudhomme. They were my mentors for many reasons and offered a variety of lessons in different stages of my life and career. My family has always been run by strong women who stayed true to their roots while putting their own flare and touch on everything they created, they each had their own style. Chef Paul taught me the basics and really ingrained the building blocks for success in me. He imparted so much knowledge over the years, but I would say that he always told me to do my research and have a deep understanding of ingredients, techniques and regional cuisines.

ICC: What piece of advice would you pass along to Oswaldo, the first recipient of the scholarship, or any future mentees that you feel would be invaluable throughout their culinary careers? 

Work hard, find your voice, always be curious and keep learning, explore and travel as much as you can. Honor your culture and preserve your legacy.  “


Hospitality Leaders Tips for Landing your Dream Interview

Submitted by: Jackie McMann-Oliveri, PHR
Director of Human Resources – Bobby Flay Restaurants and ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship Lecturer

Selection and hiring in our wonderful world of Hospitality is everything because we are only as good as the people who work for us.  We work long, we work hard, it is hot in the kitchen and crazy on the floor and one of the main ingredients in success is passion.  I am certain that we can train knife skills and we can train steps of service, but passion – we need you all to bring it!

When asked to write this article, of course, I was stoked!  Then I thought, I can easily be the boring ‘HR Lady’…. or how about I get by with a little help from my friends?

So, I reached out to some of our industry greats to ask them their tips on how to land the interview you desire and some of their culinary interviewing go to questions. Along with their help and my own expertise, we are certain to set you up for success.  Identifying and supporting great talent has been my passion for many years, I am amazingly lucky to have access to some of the very best in the industry (and don’t forget the food) and I also get to share my knowledge, stories and passion with the ICC community.

Hospitality Leaders Tips for Landing your Dream Interview
  1. Own and know your Personal brand – Know your mission, values, social presence and goals and integrate them in all you do. Some of our core values at Bobby’s Burger Palace are being fast, friendly, focused and fun.  What are yours and how do you live them? – Me! 
  1. “Do your research! It is important to know the mission and philosophy of the company as well as what restaurants it runs.  This ensures that we understand what you are looking for in a career and that those goals are aligned with the excellence we pursue.” Kim DiPalo, Talent Manager – Union Square Hospitality Group
  1. “ABC, Always Be Communicating!  Whether it’s LinkedIn, via email, over the phone, or in person, building a rapport is increasingly important.  Everyone’s time is valuable, and unfortunately less and less time is being spent on interviewing.  It’s imperative to success that those participating have a good understanding of the expectations, timelines, and an open, honest dialog throughout the process.” Amedeo Agresti, General Manager – Rosa Mexicano, Lincoln Center location
  1. “Confidence is great, cockiness is not. Humble professionals are the best. Listen more than you talk, you are the one being interviewed, don’t interview your interviewer. Smile, Smile, Smile, give a firm handshake and make eye contact. A great way to impress your interviewer and feel more confident is to do some homework beforehand. In an ideal world you would visit the establishment to see what the environment is like before the interview. If making it in is not possible, do some research online, learn about the menu, read the about page on the website, look at their social media channels etc, so that it seems as though you care and want to immerse yourself into the culture. When candidates walk in knowing about me and the restaurants, I am always impressed. “ – Michael Chernow, Owner – Seamore’s, Founding Partner – Well Well, Co-Founder – The Meatball Shop and ICC Alum and Lecturer

Chefs Go-To Culinary Interview Questions:

“What do you cook at home?” I ask this because I want to know that food is part of their life, not just a job. If they do cook at home, it shows me they carry food over into their personal life and I can see what they cook with and who they fed. It is important to me to have people that think about food and the culture of food so they always bring a fresh perspective to the job of cooking for people. Bradford Thompson – Owner, Bellyfull Consulting, Inc., Chef, Mentor and ICC Lecturer

“Please walk me through your experience job by job and explain to me how you got the job, how you like the job, what you learned from the job, what you disliked and the circumstances surrounding you’re leaving” – Daniel Holzman, Chef and Co-Founder – The Meatball Shop, Founding Partner – Project Foodie and ICC Guest Lecturer

“What is your secret ingredient?” “Fill in the blank – there’s never enough_____!” Christina Tosi, Chef, Founder, Owner – Milk Bar and ICC alum­­

“When I’m hiring a cook for one of my restaurants, and I want to see what they can do, I usually ask them to make me an omelette.” – Bobby Flay, Food Network Personality, Chef and owner – Gato, Bar Americain, Bobby Flay Steak, Bobby’s Burger Palace and Alum of the First Class of the French Culinary Institute, now our beloved ICC

What our advice all has in common is the basics, the passion and the accountability that is needed to make it in this business.  My chefs and restaurant managers know and love (and sometimes hate) how many times I tell them…  “The more time we spend hiring, the less time we spend firing”.

Follow our tips and prepare for our questions. Listening to our tips will guide you to land the interview and the restaurant job of your dreams!


Students of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program are in the kitchen cooking from day one under the watchful eyes of accomplished chef-instructors, learning from a curriculum established by world-renowned deans such as Jacques PepinAndré Soltner and Cesare Casella. With help from ICC’s on-going Career Services, students leave with the credentials and connections to pursue careers in the culinary industry. For more information about landing your culinary dream job and enrolling at the International Culinary Center, simply complete the form on this page.

James Beard Award 2018: ICC Alumni Semifinalists & Finalists

Each year, we are always so proud to see alumni and Deans of the International Culinary Center recognized for excellence in their field. With the recent announcements from the James Beard Foundation, we’d like to congratulate the following ICC alumni [and Dean!] for being recognized in the list of 2018 James Beard Award Semifinalists!

Following last year’s ceremony, ICC Dean and Chef, David Kinch, is nominated again for Outstanding Chef! Philadelphia institution Zahav, co-owned by ICC alumnus Steven Cook, is also nominated again for Outstanding Service. To view all ICC alumni nominees [and winners!] from the 2017 Awards, click here.

[UPDATE] With the announcement of the 2018 James Beard Award Book & Media nominees, ICC alumni and deans have received 19 nominations combined! Congratulations to the seven alumni and our dean David Kinch who made it on the short list in their respective categories! The winners will be announced later this spring, stay tuned.

2018 James Beard Award Semifinalist & Finalists [ICC Alumni & Dean List]

Orange indicates selection as finalist

Outstanding Chef Category:

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC [Sous Vide Intensive ‘12]

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA [ICC Dean]

Alex Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis, MN [Culinary Arts ‘93]

Outstanding Restaurant:

L’Etoile, Madison, WI – [Tory Miller, Culinary Arts ‘00]

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC [David Chang, Culinary Arts ‘01]

O Ya, Boston – [Tim & Nancy Cushman, Fundamentals of Wine ‘06]

Outstanding Service:

The Red Cat, NYC [David Battin, Culinary Arts ‘12]

Saison, San Francisco [Joshua Skenes, Culinary Arts ‘01]

Sepia, Chicago [Andrew Zimmerman, Culinary Arts ‘00]

Zahav, Philadelphia [Steven Cook, Culinary Arts ‘00]

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Brittanny Anderson, Brenner Pass, Richmond, VA [Culinary Arts, ‘09]

Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ [Culinary Arts, ‘02]

Best Chef: New York City

Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske, Contra [Culinary Arts, ’07 and Culinary Arts ’09 | Pastry Arts ’10, respectively]

Best Chef: West

Evan Rich and Sarah Rich, Rich Table, San Francisco [Sarah Rich, Culinary Arts ‘01]

Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco [Culinary Arts ‘01]

Book Awards: Reference, History, and Scholarship

Peppers of the Americas | Author: Maricel E. Presilla | Lorena Jones Books [Maricel E. Presilla, Culinary Techniques ‘93]

Broadcast Media Awards: Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location

The Bobby and Damaris Show | Hosts: Bobby Flay and Damaris Phillips | Airs on: Food Network [Bobby Flay, Culinary Arts ‘84]

Journalism Awards: Dining and Travel

“The Eating Season” | Author: Tyler Kord | Bon Appétit [Tyler Kord, Culinary Arts ‘02]

Journalism Awards: Profile

“The Untold Story of the Lady from Louisville and the Bubbe Who Wasn’t There” | Author: Rebecca Flint Marx | Taste [Rebecca Flint Marx, Culinary Arts ‘08]

The 2018 James Beard Award Winners will be announced May 7, 2018. The 2018 Media Awards will be held on April 27, 2018. For the full list of 2018 James Beard Award Semifinalists, click here. 

New Year’s Eve Celebration at the James Beard House

Break out the champagne and ring in the New Year with good cheer and incredible food at the annual James Beard New Year’s Eve Celebration dinner! This year, ICC was given the honor to host and our very own Chef Marc Bauer, Senior Director of Culinary & Pastry, has planned an exquisite menu for the evening. Inspired by his hometown of Alsace, Chef Marc and the students from ICC will prepare a 5-course dinner, with wine pairings, that will bring French culinary traditions to the Beard House for a festive end-of-year feast!

Several kinds of cheese donated graciously by Murray’s Cheese will be highlighted throughout the meal including 3lbs of gorgonzola dulce, 1 lb of clothbound cheddar, 4 lbs of Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 lbs of Aged Fontina, 2 lbs of Taleggio, 2 lbs of mozzarella, 3 lbs of aged manchego,  2 lbs of aged goat cheese, and more! Check them out at

Each course will be paired perfectly with a unique wine, listed below for reference. The dinner will begin promptly at 9 pm on Sunday, December 31st. Reserve your spot while tickets are still available! Click here to learn more.

Hors d’Oeuvre

The menu for the evening will consist of the following culinary creations developed by Chef Marc Bauer, Senior Director of Culinary and Pastry Arts as well as Chef José Menéndez, Lead Culinary Chef-Instructor. The chefs will be accompanied by tenacious student volunteers enrolled in ICC’s Culinary and Pastry Arts programs.

Blue Point Oysters with Mignonette

Red Beet Cornets with Gorgonzola Cremificato

Pork Rillettes Croutons with Cornichons

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cellars at Jasper Hill Cabot Clothbound Cheddar


Endive, Dill, and Candy Cane Beet Salad with Housemade Skuna Bay Craft Raised Salmon Lox
Paired with Robert Mondavi Oakville Fumé Blanc 2013

Skuna Bay Craft Raised Salmon en Croute with Asparagus Custard and Shiitake Mushroom Mousseline
Paired with Lioco Estero Chardonnay 2015

Cheshire Pork Osso Buco with Curry, Foie Gras Ravioli, and Spinach
Paired with Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Sainte-Maure Goat Cheese–Aged Manchego Gratiné with Spanish Membrillo and Frisée
Paired with  Poggio Argentato Fattoira Le Pupille 2015

Dark Chocolate Parfait with Liquid Gianduja and Raspberries
Paired with Ruffino Moscato d’Asti

Midnight Champagne Toast
Champagne Lecomte Pere et Fils Brut Tradition




For more information on ICC’s Senior Director of Culinary and Pastry Arts, Chef Marc Bauer, click here. 





A big thank you to the following sponsors for helping make the evening possible!

2017 ICC Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is officially in full swing with Channukah approaching next week and Christmas just weeks away. Wondering what to gift the culinary student or food enthusiast in your life? ICC has you covered with an array of options from our community featuring gift ideas from alumni, deans, and more!

Bonbons from Stick With Me Sweets
Photo Credit: Evan Sung

Susanna Yoon was the recipient of our 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award for her excellence in Pastry Arts. The queen of bonbons has been featured in several publications for the meticulously crafted chocolate creations found in her NYC store, Stick WIth Me Sweets. Just last month, Yoon was featured in Forbes’ Ultimate Chocolate Gift Guide for the artisanal chocolate bonbon Christmas tree featured above. The festive ‘Christmas in NY” box is filled with 25 bonbons with flavors like Santa’s Milk and Cookies, Gingerbread S’mores, Peppermint Cookie, and Spiced Eggnog treats. Stick With Me Sweets is currently accepting pre-orders and will begin shipping on December 10. Give this sweet gift to the chocolate lover in your life — they will not be disappointed! Visit to place your order today!

A Recreational Class at the International Culinary Center

ICC offers a wide variety of one-day and multi-day recreational courses designed specifically to educate home cooks and professional chefs alike, incorporating techniques used throughout the industries of culinary and pastry arts. Curated and scheduled throughout the year, the school’s recreational courses appeal to men and women of all ages and interests. Gift your favorite aspiring chef with our upcoming Culinary Techniques (multi-day) course beginning January 4 to get a taste of the ICC curriculum. Looking for something shorter? Try Cooking The New Delicious on January 27th where you’ll be instructed to craft a full seasonal meal that’s sure to impress any and all dinner guests. Or, perhaps the carb-lover in your life will appreciate a 4-hour course in Croissants or Homemade Pizza, both being held on January 6th. Sweet tooths are welcome at our upcoming Chocolate Treats and Truffles course on the afternoon of January 27th.

For our full multi-day class offering list, click here.

For our full one-day recreational class offering list, click here.


Anything from Just Hit Send Gifts! 

Dallas events planner and ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship alumna Annie Shamoon created to help people celebrate small moments with effortless yet thoughtful gift sending. Gift sets are available for birthdays, new babies, ‘The Entertainer’, your favorite ‘Grillmaster,’  the ‘Fancy Foodie’ in your life or even for someone to enjoy a  ‘Lazy Sunday’ — each packed with different tailored goodies. Look for essentials such as chocolates, coffees, candles and more. Head to to check out their carefully crafted holiday gift sets and place your order in time for the holidays!

Cookbooks from our Alumni + Deans!

There are a plethora of cookbooks to choose from authored by ICC’s esteemed alumni, deans, chef-instructors, and friends from over the years. It’s so hard to choose just one, or even a few, to purchase for your loved one(s) this holiday season. Here are just a few recently released cookbooks to add to Santa’s list!

This September, ICC’s Dean of Special Programs released a brand new cookbook, different from his 20+ other instructional books. This time around, Jacques Pépin brought his granddaughter Shorey to the spotlight and focuses more on simple recipes that could be made at home and enjoyed by all generations. Expect to learn to create curly hot dogs, spinach with croutons, sushi salmon cakes, skillet bread and homemade butter, raspberry cake and more — surely to become irresistible new classics for kids!


Purchase your copy, here. 


Prior to opening his latest venture, Du’s Donuts in New York City this year, ICC alumnus Wylie Dufresne also released WD~50: The Cookbook in October. The cookbook pays homage to the Dufresne-owned cutting-edge New York City restaurant which opened back in 2003.  Providing a glimpse of NYC culinary culture from 2003 through the final dinner at WD~50 in 2014, the cookbook fills the void left behind by the gastronomic artistry at the restaurant.

Purchase your copy, here.

This month, Bobby Flay helps you get fit ahead of your New Year’s resolutions with a brand new cookbook entitled, Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle. With this latest cookbook, the FCI alum helps the home cook transform lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce into crave-worthy meals at home.

Purchase your copy, here.

The Pastry Chef’s Little Black Book is a comprehensive collection of nearly 500 professionally formatted recipes covering all aspects of the pastry arts. Authored by award-winning pastry chefs Michael Zebrowski (ICC alumnus and former Pastry Chef-Instructor) and Michael Mignano. The foreword is written by ICC Master Guest Pastry Chef, Ron Ben-Israel, with gorgeous photography by Battman. Whether you’re just thinking of attending culinary school or a tenured professional chef, this is the one sweet ‘little black book’ you’ll find useful for any occasion that calls for desserts!

Purchase your copy, here. 

Merch from the ICC Shop! 


It’s never too early to join the ICC family, and our store will have you covered from your littlest foodies through your eldest. Stop by our shop to show your school spirit with hats, hoodies, onesies and more! Click here to shop all options!








Not sure which recreational class your loved one would prefer? Want to contribute to their culinary education? Purchase a gift certificate for our New York Campus today!

Quick Guide To Holiday Bubbles

Written by Elizabeth Smith, CS
ICC Wine Program Coordinator

There’s no better way to kick off the festive season with popping corks and a splash (or two) of bubbly.  But what to drink?   Here’s my quick-and-dirty guide to what to buy.


Champagne lovers say there’s simply no substitute for real Champagne, and of course, there’s nothing like it to ring in the new year.   In the words of Ferris Bueller, “it is so choice – if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”   If you like a rich and toasty style, go for Herbert Beaufort or Vilmart – smaller producers that make full, silky champagnes.  If you’re looking for something lean and racy as an apéritif, I’d recommend grower-producer Pierre Gimonnet – his Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs is redolent of lime blossom with a firm mineral spine.

Other Traditional Method Sparklers

Made in the traditional method of Champagne, Cava delivers those toasty, yeasty notes and fuller body at a fraction of the price.  For excellent value, try Juvé y Camps or Mas la Mola L’Atzar – the latter ages 22 months in the bottle, longer than many Champagnes.  But my favorite Spanish sparkler of all time is Raventós i Blanc Rosé de Nit – a robust and flavorful rosé from Mourvedre that goes with everything.

You can also drink the big Champagne producers at a more civilized cost if you head to California – Taittinger, Roederer, and Moët all have sisters stateside.  I was recently impressed with Taittinger’s Domaine Carneros – a nose of pear compote on brioche, with a cleansing acidity and tight bubbles on the palate.


A lighter, more fruit-forward wine than those made in the traditional method, Prosecco is about fresh fruit flavors and sometimes a little kiss of sugar.  Perfect for apéritifs, digestifs, toasts, and gatherings at any hour, Malibràn Gorio Extra Dry Prosecco is delicately sweet, with gentle fruity and floral notes.

Off the Beaten Path

German producer 50◦N makes original and truly delicious sekt (sparkling) wines, fruity and drinkable and guaranteed to please a crowd.  But my personal favorite obscure sparkler is the underrated French appellation Crémant de Limoux – the first sparkling wines in the world (pre-dating Champagne).  Try producer Saint-Hilaire – Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Mauzac grapes deliver distinctive wines at incredible value.


Have a New Year’s Resolution to expand your wine knowledge in 2018? ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you accomplish your goal in just 10 weeks. Apply now to begin in our January program! Click here to learn more.

ICC Alumni Among 2018 Michelin Star Recipients

The following winners listed consists of the 2018 Michelin Star recipients that feature an International Culinary Center alumni, or ICC Dean, either as a chef/owner of the restaurant or an integral member of the kitchen. We congratulate the following venues and individuals who prove that hard work tastes good throughout their culinary careers.

Stop by one of the following locations, if you’re lucky enough to get a reservation, and catch our alumni in action as they love what they do in their culinary careers.

New York City

Three Stars (“Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”)

Eleven Madison Park, Chris Flint, Chef de Cuisine
Per Se, Anna Bolz, Pastry Chef

Two Stars (“Excellent cooking, worth a detour.”)

Ko, David Chang, Chef/Owner

One Star (“High-quality cooking, worth a stop!”)

Agern, Rhonda Crosson, Head Baker
Ai Fiori, Nelson Gonzalez, Sous Chef
Babbo, Rebecca DeAngelis, Executive Pastry Chef
Bâtard, Jason Jacobeit, Wine Director
Blue Hill, Dan Barber, Chef/Owner
Café Boulud, Ceasar Guitierrez, Sous Chef
Contra, Jeremiah Stone & Fabian Von Hauske, Chefs/Owners
Cote, Brenton Lee, Executive Sous Chef
Del Posto, Justine MacNeil, Executive Pastry Chef
Gramercy Tavern, Howard Kalachinikoff, Chef de Cuisine
La Vara, Mary McCauley, Wine Director
Meadowsweet, Polo Dobkin,  Chef/Owner
NoMad, Mark Welker, Pastry Chef


One Star (“High-quality cooking, worth a stop!”)

Sepia, Andrew Zimmerman, Executive Chef

San Francisco

Three Stars (“Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”)

Saison, Joshua Skenes, Chef/Owner

Manresa, David Kinch (ICC Dean), Chef/Owner

One Star (“High-quality cooking, worth a stop!”)

Rich Table, Sarah Rich, Chef/Owner


Discover The May-Mei Italian Culinary Academy

Calling all culinary professionals – May-Mei Italian Culinary Academy is launching a new, modern Culinary Institute for the hospitality industry, young professionals, culinary institutions and Italian cuisine enthusiasts around the world. Beginning this year, May-Mei will offer intensive short courses for individuals, with limited time availability, who wish to learn or refresh their knowledge of Italian cooking techniques, Italian food products, the flavors, the traditions and culture of the Italian table.


Founded by Tony May, Sergio Mei and Bruno Libralon, May-Mei Italian Culinary Academy offers a five-day short intensive course, arriving in Italy on Sunday and returning home on Saturday. Perfect for young students and professional development, this course combines theory and practical lessons with hands-on experience and field trips to local producers. Each day culminates in the kitchen where students cook what they learned during the day.


The board of the May-Mei is extending an exclusive offer to ICC Alumni for the initial course, September 17-23, 2017 at Gambero Rosso in Rome, of 25% off the published website price.


Interested in attending? Please contact Tony May at

To review the course program at Gambero Rosso, price, studies, and visits to producers for this inaugural class, please visit for details about the offer.

For more information and a schedule of the 2017-2018 dates, please visit or


ICC Announces Baking Demonstrations at New York Cake Show June 10-11

Patiently waiting for this year’s New York Cake Show?

The 2-day event spanning from June 10 & 11 at Pier 36 gets better with a stage of demonstrations sponsored by The International Culinary Center. The award-winning culinary school is proud to announce a series of exciting baking demonstrations from pastry chefs, covering a range of topics from healthy baking substitutions and gluten-free baking to cookie crafting and French macarons.

The demonstration stage will feature ICC Pastry Chef-Instructors including the school’s Director of Pastry Operations, Chef Jansen Chan, as well as Senior Coordinator (Pastry), Chef Jurgen David, and Chef Michael Zebrowski, Chef-Instructor and ICC Alumni. Additional ICC alumni on the roster will be Justine MacNeil, Executive Pastry Chef of Del Posto, Chef Pietro Aletto, Executive Pastry Chef at Boutrous, plus many other established pastry professionals.

Each demonstration will be 45 minutes long, and attendees will receive tastings and recipes during each sitting. Tickets to attend the demonstrations are $25. Don’t miss the opportunity to watch and learn from these leading pastry chefs. Check out the full schedule of ICC demonstrations below and register via the links below.

Full Schedule:

Healthy Baking Substitutions 
Chef Michelle Olson, Owner of Michelle Doll Cakes & Resident Chef of Sur La Table

Torta Barozzi: Italian Flourless Chocolate Cake 
Chef Justine MacNeil, Executive Pastry Chef of Del Posto

Roulades: Sponge Cake Construction 
Chef Jurgen David, ICC Senior Coordinator & Pastry Chef Instructor

Brioche Baklava Bun
Chef Pietro Aletto, Executive Pastry Chef of Boutros

Perfect Cake Mixing Methods 
Chef Jurgen David, ICC Senior Coordinator & Pastry Chef Instructor


10:00 AM
Gluten-Free Baking
Chef Antonella Zangheri, Chef/Owner of Krumville Bake Shop

11:00 AM
Classic Home Style Layer Cakes 
Chef Katie Rosenhouse, Owner of Buttermilk Bake Shop

1:00 PM
Crafting Cookies with ICC 
Chef Jansen Chan, ICC Director Of Pastry Operations + ICC 2017 Cookie Games Winners: Madeline Dudek & Clara Lim

2:00 PM
Pie 101
Chef Michael Zebrowski, ICC Pastry Chef Instructor

4:00 PM
French Macarons & Fillings 
Chef Michael Zebrowski, ICC Pastry Chef Instructor

Why Become an Olive Oil Sommelier?

Written by Curtis Cord
Founder of Olive Oil Times and Executive Director of ICC’s Olive Oil Sommelier Certification program

There’s never been so much interest in high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Why?

Two reasons: First, there are the health benefits revealed in a never-ending stream of research that credits components in EVOO with helping us live longer, healthier lives.

And, there’s the taste. Extra virgin olive oil is an unprocessed fruit juice that reflects its terroir much like wine, and chefs around the world are only beginning to discover how to use different olive varieties to elevate their dishes to heights they never imagined.

But something else that has come to the forefront is the importance of choosing a high-quality olive oil to get the full advantage of these benefits. There’s a huge difference between a really great olive oil and one pretending to be. Mislabeled and substandard oils are a major concern for people who are responsible for making choices in this category.

Luckily for us, there are more excellent olive oils, from more regions, than ever before. At this year’s New York International Olive Oil Competition (an annual event that was launched at the ICC five years ago) there were 910 entries from 27 countries — and more winners than in past editions.

That’s great news for those of us who care a lot about what we eat and seek the best quality, especially in products as important as extra virgin olive oil.

But, there’s a problem. The only way to really know if an olive oil is good or not is to learn how to taste it. Most people can’t tell a high-quality olive oil that deserves the investment from an old, rancid one that shouldn’t be on the store shelves, to begin with.

In fact, we’ve been eating poor-quality olive oil for so long that a recent study found most people actually chose a rancid oil that has virtually none of the touted health benefits, over a fresh, healthful one simply because they didn’t know what they should be looking for and selected the one that seemed more familiar to them.

So what does good extra virgin olive oil taste like?

First of all, it can’t reveal what we call “defects” in olive oil sensory assessment. Some of the most common are rancidity (basically spoiled fruit, like a banana that has turned black), fustiness (when the olives have undergone advanced fermentation often by sitting around before they were milled) and muddy (that results from unclean milling equipment).

There are also what are called the “positive characteristics of olive oil”  — fruitiness, bitterness, and pungency — that are indicators of fresh, healthy fruit and careful processing. Trained tasters look for oils that exhibit a nice balance of the three.

To recognize defects and positive attributes take time and practice, but with so much at stake, more chefs, producers, food buyers, foodies and others are finding it well worth the effort to know how to assess the quality of this vital food for themselves, their families and the companies they represent.

The Olive Oil Program at the International Culinary Center brings the world’s foremost olive oil experts and educators to the New York and California campuses in a comprehensive series of courses spanning production, quality management, and advanced sensory assessment.

There has never been a greater need to foster a deeper understanding of this important food among today’s culinary leaders, and there is no better place than the International Culinary Center to lead the way to greater knowledge.

Register today to join our upcoming Olive Oil Certification courses at our California Campus beginning in October 2017 (click here). Course One runs from October 2-4 and Course Two runs fr October 5-7